Collar Too Tight- Creative Fix Ideas Needed
February 3, 2017 5:07 PM   Subscribe

I bought a vintage pink cape to wear with a costume. Unfortunately the item was posted with the (significantly) wrong size. However, the only problem is that the collar is too tight for me. Seeking creative ideas about making it work!

Pictures here.

The price was right and I won't wear it more than a few days a year, so I really want to keep it. Help me make it work.

I can be very creative with the fix because this is part of a flamboyant costume that I wear as a festival volunteer. I need the cape to stay closed because I will be using my hands a lot to pass out tickets, etc. But this isn't specific cosplay of a person, just wild dress-up, so whatever works!

I can do some sewing myself. I could also take it to a tailor for a more difficult adjustment, but I need to know what to ask for and get the sense that it's possible. For instance, I have cheated a button around before on my own, but that's not going to work here- I can't just move the button and make it fit- it's a couple inches off.

I am open to removing the buttons and using a clasp or something instead, but those buttonholes will still be there. Should I put on a schmancy clasp or two and choose not to care about the buttonholes?
posted by aabbbiee to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total)
 
Would a button extender do the trick? They do come in different sizes, and perhaps you could make your own.
posted by snickerdoodle at 5:17 PM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'd cut the neck out larger (just below the first button) and just get rid of the collar. Then fold the raw edge under and hem it. If you really like the idea of a collar you could add one of those removable decorative ones.
posted by oxisos at 5:26 PM on February 3, 2017


I'd sew a flap on the inside with a button (or two) to match the ones that are there.

Well, technically, I'd remove the two buttons, sew a flap on the inside and move the buttons. I'd use a contrast fabric, since matching would be impossible.

So, I'd remove the buttons and save then. Then I'd cut a rectangle as wide as the needed extra space and slightly longer than the button depth. Then I'd edge the rectangle to prevent fraying. Then I'd stitch the rectangle under the button placket (where I'd removed the buttons). Then I'd sew the buttons back.

To close the cape, you pull the new rectangle over and button.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:29 PM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Remove the collar and use a fancy sweater clip.
posted by vespabelle at 5:40 PM on February 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


I would sew a wide frog fastening onto the collar stand to cover the current button hole there. That would leave the existing button hole in the front band of the cape. If it's noticeable enough to annoy you, You might consider edging the whole cape with a grosgrain or satin ribbon -- that would add a bit of interest and cover the errant button hole.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:15 PM on February 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'd go to a fabric store and buy 4 large glittery rhinestone buttons (or whatever suits the style you're going for) and a piece of matching ribbon, fabric scrap, or yarn (eg pink, or silver, or whatever suits). Now think of two buttons on a 4" ribbon as being like the sweater clips vespabelle linked, but sew one end down to replace the existing button, and use the other end through the buttonhole.(there are 2 buttonholes, right? so a pair of extenders) Depending on how the new button fits the buttonhole you may want to add a plain flat button back (eg the old plain pink buttons) so that the buttonhole is sandwiched between two objects and the decorative button is not tempted by gravity to start dangling on a string.

Mock it up first by tying a string between the buttons and the buttonholes and see how it hangs, how the collar looks, how long you'd want the extender ribbon, etc. You might end up removing the collar (or just folding it under and tacking it down with thread, if that level of surgery isn't in the cards)
posted by aimedwander at 6:15 PM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here is a theatre costuming trick:

1) Sew a snap to the end of a piece of fabric elastic (maybe 2" long). Get a decent sized snap and elastic, maybe 1/2" wide. You can buy both snaps and elastic at a sewing store.

2) Sew under the ends of the elastic so it doesn't fray. You can whip stitch around the ends instead. You can pin the elastic to the cape to estimate how long you'll need it to be. You don't want it so long that it doesn't hold the cape properly in place or people can see it.

3) Sew the button hole closed (whip stitch is easy).

4) Remove the button and sew it on top of the now-closed button hole.

5) On the other side of the button sew on your snap's mate.

6)Sew the elastic w/snap to the cape where the button used to be attached. Your elastic doesn't have to be very long. The important thing is to sew it and the snap parts securely so they won't pop off.

The goal is to have a button that looks properly buttoned, but the collar is actually attached by the elastic which fastens with the snaps so you can easily get it on and off.
posted by Stonkle at 7:08 PM on February 3, 2017 [9 favorites]


I forgot - if the cape is really heavy you might need two snaps side by side.
posted by Stonkle at 7:13 PM on February 3, 2017


How much is it off? Can you leave it unbuttoned and layer a scarf underneath to give you some extra coverage, or does it not behave appropriately in that scenario?

If you can't just leave it open and use a scarf to cover the difference, then either Stonkle or aimed wander are suggesting what I'd probably do. In any case I'd probably get a scarf under there to make sure you're warm enough if that is a concern.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:28 AM on February 4, 2017


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